Kia Soul seeing alarming number of car fires, experts say

A 2014 Kia Soul is displayed at the 2013 New York International Auto Show on March 27, 2013, in New York City. Safety advocates said the 2010-2015 Soul should be included with other models being investigated for fire risk.

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A 2014 Kia Soul is displayed at the 2013 New York International Auto Show on March 27, 2013, in New York City. Safety advocates said the 2010-2015 Soul should be included with other models being investigated for fire risk.

A Georgia woman said her son barely escaped with his life after fire engulfed her Kia Soul on Atlanta's Downtown Connector.

"Oh my God," said Shakeria Warren, of Clayton County, as WSB-TV consumer investigator Jim Strickland showed her pictures of the scene shot by a WSB-TV investigative producer in a nearby car. Warren's son had been driving at the time of the incident.

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"When I got to the car, it was totaled, like maybe you can scoop it up with a shovel," Warren said.

Safety advocates said the 2010-2015 Soul should be included with other models being investigated for fire risk.

In petitioning for a separate investigation, the Center for Auto Safety said two dozen Kia Soul fires is an "especially alarming number," since fewer than 700,000 were sold in the U.S.

"It’s clear that it’s a defect issue. I think the larger question is what is causing the problem," said the center’s executive director, Jason Levine.

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Federal safety regulators have only committed to reviewing whether the fires are related to a series of engine recalls already on the books.

The Kia Soul had no such recall, nor did the 2011 Kia Sorento, of which 12 have burned. The latest reported case occurred in Habersham County last month.

A Kia spokesman emailed Strickland and said the company is working with Warren. There was no comment about the call for an investigation.

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